Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Betwixt and Between

I’m restless, unable to stay focused on any one task, doing bits and pieces of many things and accomplishing nothing. I blame it on the weather. After the long, harsh winter, spring arrived officially last week and since that time we’ve had more snow and frigid cold. It’s not enough any more for the sun to shine, for sunset to come late giving us more hours of daylight. I need to see green, and I need to feel warm.

All winter, when we had sunny days, you could feel the change in people. We felt the wonder of nature in the blue skies, the sunlight glaring off the white, the squirrels playing like children in the snow. It was a moment’s respite from all the gray, the continuous snow and freezing temperatures.

I need some joy, some happiness, but will have to settle for contentment. I had this conversation with a friend last week. When, I asked, was the last time she’d felt real happiness, that deep from inside, overwhelming feeling of bliss. She’s almost twenty years older, and like me, has lived alone for a long time. Is it living alone that prevents one from reaching that level of joy? Is it the sharing, knowing that someone is there for you?

Many people live alone, but they don’t feel isolated because they have a network of friends and family. Maybe that’s what makes the difference. Being alone does not have to mean being lonely. What you want to know is there are people who care about you, who understand and value you. If you have that, waking up alone every day is not so terrible.

I can see the value of pet therapy. I miss having my cat. He was someone I could talk to; though he never answered he was a great listener. He knew my moods, knew those days I needed that extra head butt, and needed him to stay close so I didn’t feel quite so alone.

My brother just got a cat he rescued from the shelter. I find it so hard to believe this is his first pet. When I was married we always had a black Lab for a house pet and a kennel full of hunting dogs. Later, I had cats, as I could leave them alone for hours at a time when I was at work. But always, until these last few years I had another living creature here with me. Maybe I could get a goldfish, or a hamster, but it wouldn’t be the same.

In my old apartment there was a woman who visited regularly with her dog. That dog became like the building mascot. Everyone fed it treats, some looked after it when the owner was away, and I even made him a dog coat for winter. Pet therapy.

My neighbour had a cat that she walked numerous times throughout the day, just like a dog. The cat was not a social animal, and would run from any contact with others. But I won him over, feeding him cat treats from my window. It got so I looked for them to come walking by, and was disappointed if I missed them. The cat finally trusted me enough to eat from my hand, and maybe, while he was busy eating, I could cop a feel. I also enjoyed those moments of conversation with my neighbour. It was a nice break from my own company.

Maybe I should give this cat socializing a try. The local Humane Society is always looking for volunteers. I’m afraid I’d want to bring one home, and that’s against the rules here in my new place. It’s something to think about.

Meanwhile I’m looking for spring, and hopefully by Easter we’ll have something to celebrate.



1 comment:

blogger's Brother said...

Cat socializing has been great for me, but it's not without some sadness. Seeing all those lovely cats sitting in cages can weigh heavy on your heart. But taking one out of its cage for a few minutes in the socializing room makes you feel good. Putting them back in their cage diminishes the good feeling.

The hardest part for me was making friends with a cat after socializing with them for several weeks. I'd look forward to seeing them every Friday afternoon. The first time I came in to see on of my favourites had been adopted was bitter sweet. I was happy they found a home, but sad for not being able to see them again.

One particular little rascal named Vinny was the one that somehow got me like no other. I brought my wife in to see him and the next day he came home with us. My wife always knew that was one of the dangers of me volunteering at the humane society.

It's a real change for us, we've been just the two of us for 37 years and now there's one more. It's an adjustment for all of us, but it's worth it!